Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 55, Issue 6, pp 910–931

Endocrine and environmental aspects of sex differentiation in fish

Authors

  • J.-F. Baroiller
    • CIRAD-EMVT (Centre International en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement), Laboratoire de Physiologie des Poissons, Campus de Beaulieu, F-35042 Rennes Cedex (France), Fax +33 2 99 28 50 20, e-mail: jfb@beaulieu.rennes.inra.fr
  • Y. Guiguen
    • INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique), Laboratoire de Physiologie des Poissons, Campus de Beaulieu, F-35042 Rennes Cedex (France), Fax +33 2 99 28 50 20, e-mail: guiguen@beaulieu.rennes.inra.fr
  • A. Fostier
    • INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique), Laboratoire de Physiologie des Poissons, Campus de Beaulieu, F-35042 Rennes Cedex (France), Fax +33 2 99 28 50 20, e-mail: guiguen@beaulieu.rennes.inra.fr

DOI: 10.1007/s000180050344

Cite this article as:
Baroiller, J., Guiguen, Y. & Fostier, A. CMLS, Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (1999) 55: 910. doi:10.1007/s000180050344

Abstract.

This paper reviews the current knowledge concerning the endocrine and environmental regulations of both gonadal sex differentiation in gonochoristic and sex inversion in hermaphroditic fish. Within the central nervous system, gonadotropins seem to play a role in triggering sex inversion in hermaphroditic fish. In gonochorists, although potentially active around this period, the hypothalamo-pituitary axis is probably not involved in triggering sex differentiation. Although steroids and steroidogenic enzymes are probably not the initial triggers of sex differentiation, new data, including molecular approaches, have confirmed that they are key physiological steps in the regulation of this process. Environmental factors can strongly influence sex differentiation and sex inversion in gonochoristic and hermaphroditic fish, respectively. The most important environmental determinant of sex would appear to be temperature in the former species, and social factors in the latter. Interactions between environmental factors and genotype have been suggested for both gonochoristic and hermaphroditic fish.

Key words. Teleost fish; sex differentiation; central nervous system; gonadal steroids; steroid enzymes; steroid receptors; gonadotropins; environmental factors.

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel, 1999